Tunneling in a "breathing" double well: Adiabatic and antiadiabatic limits and tunneling suppression

V. Fleurov, R. Schilling

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Tunneling in a piecewise harmonic potential coupled to a harmonic oscillator is considered by means of the path integral technique. The reduced propagator for the tunneling particle is calculated explicitly and the tunneling splitting is found in semiclassical approximation. The result holds for arbitrary values of the parameters of the system. From this the adiabatic and antiadiabatic approximations are obtained as particular cases and compared with the results obtained differently. The limit of a strong interaction is also considered. It is found that for strong interaction or equivalently for the harmonic frequency tending to zero the preexponential factor in the tunneling splitting tends to zero which results in a suppression of tunneling. Implications of this result for tunneling in a more general potential are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-437
Number of pages9
JournalZeitschrift für Physik B Condensed Matter
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1995


  • 03.65.-w
  • 03.65.Db
  • 03.65.Sq


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